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War Department,
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.
Washington, October 4, 1865.

(Circular Letter.)
State laws with regard to apprenticeship will be recognized by this Bureau, provided they make no distinctions of color, or, in case they do so, the same laws applying to while children will be extended to the colored.

Officers of this Bureau are requested as guardians of orphan minors of freed men, within their respective districts.

The principle to be adhered to with regard to panpers, is, that each county, parish, township or city, shall care for and provide for its own poor.

Vagrant laws made for free people, and now in force, on the statute books of the States embraced in the operations of this Bureau will be recognized and extended to the freedmen.

Assistant Commissioners will draw up specific instructions applicable to their respective States, in accordance with the pregoing principles.

O.O. Howard,
Major General, Commissioner.


Asst. Adjt. General.